IDER: Breaking Brooklyn

The Brit synth-pop duo gave a monumental performance at Brooklyn Steel, and there's seemingly no slowing down from there

Photo Jay Pinho

There's something about IDER that feels out of this world...

Heavily stylized production, a grungy stage presence, colorful visuals meshed with the group's wistful vocals tones make it seem like the duo lives in a world of contradictions, both alien and terrestrial, and once you start you can't get enough of it. They've been burning a trail behind them the last couple of years, one that's taken them from touring the UK and Europe, through to guesting at SXSW, hitting the wider world, and now opening up for Norwegian pop sensation Sigrid at Brooklyn Steel.

Brooklyn Steel is a cavernous venue. It takes a lot of people to fill it, and it takes double their energy to make the place come alive. IDER drowned the room. They emerged out of smoke and light like a pair of optical illusions, and took on the sold-out venue as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Megan Markwick behind the keys and Lily Somerville on guitar, the London-based duo carried energy and confidence, running and belting song after song to delighted hundreds. Asked about their dynamic, IDER responded candidly "We are quite playful on stage and perform a lot to each other," going on to confirm what most people suspect. "Our chemistry is a huge part of our performance and our identity as a band."

IDER shares a fascinating dynamic onstage. When you break down what they're doing it doesn't read like a whole lot. Keys, guitar, vocals, beat. And yet when you watch them they are all-consuming. Their ferocity was at its peak when they performed "GMLAA" acapella, their eyes locked, harmonizing with one another perfectly. When the pair are in sync, they are ethereal and immediate.

Photo Jay Pinho

Sigrid followed them on stage and, naturally, brought the house down, but before that IDER indelibly left their mark. "It was amazing to see some people singing along to our songs," they said of the show, adding, "The sound in the venue was incredible." Their down-to-earth, deliberately under-choreographed synth-pop munificence resonated with New Yorkers in a way that not all acts can do. Perhaps it's their folk origins that keep them grounded in the here-and-now. Perhaps it's the British factor, making their voice unfamiliar yet familiar. Perhaps it's just good old-fashioned musical and lyrical intelligence. Whatever it is, it's not to be missed. IDER are on tour now, and, if there's any justice, will be for the rest of recorded time. In their own words: "We're gearing up to the release of our debut album this summer. We also have plans for touring and festivals and pushing ourselves further with our live show."

Follow IDER online!
Web | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify

Thomas Burns Scully is a Popdust contributor, and also an award-winning actor, playwright, and musician. In his spare time he writes and designs escape rooms. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Music Features

Sunday Selects: Six New Songs to Revive Your Faith in Humanity

This week's best new releases are united by a common theme: tentative optimism.

The best new tracks of this week look to the future, choosing to reflect on possibility rather than languishing in the past.

With empowering anthems by femaley artists Tierra Whack, Sophia Danai, Sigrid, and Dessa in honor of International Women's Day, along with hopeful apologies from Andrew Bird and Khalid, this list is a taste of what should be an amazing next few months of music.

1. Gloria — Tierra Whack

Image via highsnobiety

As part of "Whack Month," the rapper-singer has steadily been releasing a song each week. Her latest, Gloria, is a shoutout to her supporters and a renunciation of everything keeping her down.

Tierra Whack – Gloria (Audio)

Her 2018 debut Whack World featured 15 songs with videos in 15 minutes and won her extensive critical acclaim, and a recent Jimmy Kimmel performance of last week's single "Only Child" proved that she has plenty more boundary-breaking multimedia ideas in store.

Gloria pits her characteristically dextrous bars over an infectious beat, a promise that she's just getting started.

Tierra Whack - Only Child (Live From Jimmy Kimmel Live!/2019)

2. Manifest — Andrew Bird

Image via Hilobrow

"I'm starting to question my manifest destiny / my claim to this frontier," begins Andrew Bird's sonic criticism of manifest destiny—that destructive idea that anyone can own the earth. This song is a tribute to the autonomy and strength of the natural world, wrapped up in an optimistic tangle of strings and snare drums. Bird's new album, My Finest Work Yet, arrives March 22.

Andrew Bird - “Manifest" (Official Audio)

3. Through the Dark — Sophia Danai

This song checks all the boxes of a typical pop jam but has enough gritty synth and ambient guitar to set it spinning into the realm of the psychedelic. It's about fighting through the toughest parts of a relationship or gritting one's teeth through a personal struggle. "The best way out is always through, and when we run, we are only running from ourselves," Denai said of the song's message. The up-and-coming Vancouver native's EP Real Eyes will be released on April 5th.

Come Thru - Sophia Danai (Official Music Video)

4. My Bad — Khalid

Image via

The fifth single from Khalid's April 5th release, Free Spirit, is a chilled-out apology to a lover who he "didn't text back" cause he "was working." Sounds fake, but the song is so pleasing to the ear—so full of light electric guitar that accents the 22-year-old's velvety vocals, laced together with the best production that modern studios can provide—that the hollowness of the singer's excuses hardly matters. Free Spirit will be released along with a short film of the same title, also about "the beauty and pain of growing up."

Khalid - My Bad (Audio)

5. In Vain — Sigrid

Image via Stereogum

The Norwegian songstress goes full Janis Joplin on "In Vain," letting her voice break and shatter as she details her fear of taking a plunge into the unknown. It's off her March 8 release, Sucker Punch, an album that sometimes grows too predictable and pop-focused, doing a disservice to Sigrid's incredible pipes. Still, when she leans into the punk-rock edginess and powerful emotions that her voice can convey, she sounds like the unstoppable new presence that she is.

In Vain

6. Grade School Games — Dessa

Image via The Verge

Dessa returns one year after her debut album's release with a surprisingly infectious antidote to pop music's obsession with "sex, drugs and pain"—which she denounces as "grade school games." This song is about how moments that feel like the end of the world in our lives—all the love and the drama and the chaos—have been happening to people all the time; and for better or for worse, none of us are that special. The song itself is far from desolate, though; it's a glittery and climactic celebration of the universality of human experience, layered over exuberant beats and creative orchestral arrangements, and it bodes well for her next release, which is TBD.

Dessa - "Grade School Games" (Official Audio)

Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York City. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.

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New Releases

Sigrid Lets Loose 'Sucker Punch'

Vevo's newest LIFT artist.

Courtesy Sigrid

Norway's pop diva Sigrid releases the music video for "Sucker Punch" today. Selected as Vevo's latest LIFT artist, "Sucker Punch" will premiere on Vevo's YouTube channel.

Sigrid Solbakk Raabe, aka Sigrid, released her debut single, "Sun," in 2013. The song's success led to a deal with Petroleum Records and performances at multiple festivals, like Øyafestivalen. In 2016, she signed with Island Records, releasing "Don't Kill My Vibe," which charted internationally. Her debut EP, also named Don't Kill My Vibe, followed shortly thereafter.

Sigrid - Sucker Punch (Live) | Vevo LIFT

She performed at the Reading Festival in 2017, and her cover of Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" was a highlight of the Justice League soundtrack. One year later, she won BBC Music Sound's award, as well as Newcomer of the Year at Spellemannprisen. In the summer of 2018, Sigrid released her second EP, Raw.

Sigrid's debut album, Sucker Punch, is slated to drop March 2019, followed by a tour with Maroon 5 throughout Europe, and George Ezra's 2019 U.K. tour.

"Sucker Punch" opens on pulsing synths and crisp, tight percussion. Initially, the tune exudes hip-hop-lite flavors, but then ramps up to shimmering, glossy pop colors atop an infectious rhythm riding a potent bass line and syncopated drums.

Sigrid's unique voice has a range of timbres, from tight, rasping tones to melodic sonority. It's a magnetic, galvanizing voice, full of feeling. A keening guitar corresponds to her upper register tones, adding enchanting textures.

"Sucker Punch" is off-the-chain superb, rife with sparkling energy and Sigrid's irreplaceable voice.

Follow Sigrid Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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PREMIERE | Alexa Melo Commits to Insanity in Boozy 'Dope Sick' Video

Heartbreak and the Journey to Recovery Can Be Pretty Traumatic.

Noah Diamond

Melo claws her way to freedom.

A lot of life can be lived in three years. For grunge-pop singer Alexa Melo, that means plenty of love and heartbreak nearly tearing her limb from limb. With her first single in the same amount of time, a grim and greasy mid-tempo called "Dope Sick," in which she plots a pilgrimage through past memories, Melo claws her way out of the muck to reclaim her life. "Baby boy, you know I'm gonna survive," she promises on the opening lyric, stained with minimalist production, a rather ghoulish beginning. "But what's the point / I'd acquire a taste for a different kind of hurt."

Melo's misery hangs on her tongue, and as she goes for a mid-afternoon drive down the highway, tears flow down and flush her porcelain cheeks. Flashes of the past, cherished moments, mostly, come in and out of view, almost in a boozy haze. "Baby, I don't want these withdraw symptoms to subside," she later concedes, "because that means I've learned to live without you." The beat drops, and her voice cuts even deeper. "Dope Sick" is solo produced by Melo. Daniel Garcia helms the accompanying visual, premiering today.

Alexa Melo, MUTE EP cover art

On the song, she explains to Popdust, detailing quite a tragic past, "I grew up around substance abuse, and in my breakup I noticed similarities in addictive, masochistic behavior. It's about almost dreading the day the withdrawal ends because even though it sucks, the healing will officially signify that you are truly alone again."

The music video (watch above) ⎯⎯ strewn with needle-point and macabre-bent footage, reaching a climax when Melo admits herself to a rehab facility, where she dons a straight jacket ⎯⎯ cruelly displays what pain and recovery can feel like. It's a penetrating sequence of events, and Melo's performance is chilling. "Making the video was not easy," says Melo. Daniel and I were the only two people on the crew. With such a small budget, we had to trespass, pull favors, and work our asses off. It was intense to reenact the pain of what the song was written about. Still, making this video was some of the most fun I've ever had making art."

"Dope Sick" samples Melo's forthcoming new EP, Mute, is coming out October 12

Follow Alexa Melo on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Jason Scott is a freelance music journalist with bylines in B-Sides & Badlands, Billboard, PopCrush, Ladygunn, Greatist, AXS, Uproxx, Paste and many others. Follow him on Twitter.

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